To All WMT Senior Conductor, Senior Conductor Instructor & Train Driver members
Our Ref: BR2/0146
20th September 2019
ROLE OF THE GUARD & INTRODUCTION OF DOO – WEST MIDLAND TRAINS
For some considerable time, your Senior Union Representatives have been in negotiations with West Midland Trains over the safety critical role of the Guard and the introduction of Driver Only Operation.
As you are fully aware, this union’s policy is for no introduction or extension of Driver Only Operation/Driver Controlled Operation (DOO/DCO) on any route or service and for the Guard to be in full operational control of the power operated doors. Additionally, the RMT are totally opposed to any proposals for introducing or extending DOO/DCO, reducing or abolishing the safety role of the Conductor and abolishing the role of the Conductor in operation of the doors.
For many months, your Union has been seeking guarantees from West Midland Trains for no introduction of DOO/DCO and that a failure to provide these necessary assurances would force the RMT to enter into a dispute with the company. Despite months of negotiations and the best intentions of your Company Council Representatives, it would appear that West Midland Trains position is to have Drivers Open and Close doors on all rolling stock.
Furthermore, I am appalled by the lack of response from West Midland Trains over the concerns raised by your Health and Safety Representatives, following the risk assessments carried out across West Midland Trains network, the lack of release for our Reps to undertake this process and managements failure to complete the reports.
As a result of the above, I have informed West Midland Trains that a dispute situation now exists between our two organisations and I shall be balloting our Senior Conductor, Senior Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members for industrial action. It is vital that we stand together and demonstrate our strength of feeling to the company in this dispute.
Therefore, I would be most grateful if you could ensure your membership record is up-to-date by contacting the RMT Head office on 0207 387 4771 and ask for the Membership department. Alternatively, members can contact the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706 or email the Helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org and notify them of any updates.
I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, update you on any further developments.